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Thursday, May 5, 2016

DPU men notch second upset win in a week

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DePauw's men's basketball team picked up their second major win in four days after knocking off No. 16 Wooster 75-66 Saturday afternoon.

Three days after dropping rivals and No. 14 Wabash in Crawfordsville, the Tigers came through late to hand the Fighting Scots their third NCAC and overall loss of the year.

The hosts came out of the gates firing and quickly established a 10-4 lead before Wooster settled into the game.

The Scots proceeded to control the next few minutes, going on a 14-6 run to take their largest lead of the game at 20-16.

DePauw rattled off a 9-0 run to quickly retake the lead and kept Wooster in check for the rest of the half, taking a 32-26 lead into halftime.

The Tigers stretched the lead to as high as eight early in the second half before the Scots methodically began to close the gap.

Wooster closed the gap to one three times before taking their final lead with eight minutes to go in the game.

The hosts retook the lead but could not extend it past four, while the Scots tied the game three more times heading into the final three minutes.

Sean Haseley finally created the distance needed for the Tigers to permanently take the lead after his three-pointer at the 2:44 mark gave DePauw a 62-57 lead.

The Tigers sealed the game with free throws, knocking down 11 of their final 12 shots from the line while Wooster's last ditch efforts came up short.

The victory saw DePauw reach the 10 win mark while moving past Wooster in the NCAC standings and knocking of ranked opponents back-to-back for the first time since the 2002 NCAA tournament.

Head coach Bill Fenlon said afterwards that prioritizing ball security has been paying dividends.

"I don't think you could have a better week. You've got to win the ones that you're playing. We weren't perfect, but we're playing with a much better purpose defensively and offensively," Fenlon said.

"We pulled out a mantra about four weeks ago about valuing the basketball: Taking care of it when you have it, going and getting it better when you don't."

"I thought we did a really good job of that in both games this week and everything feeds from that. We only turned it over eight times today, which is great," Fenlon added.

"When you don't turn the ball over, you don't give up easy opportunities. That's a big part of being efficient as a basketball team."

As well as handling the ball, Fenlon said the defensive strategy worked well against Wooster.

"We felt like a lot of the stuff they did ran through the low post. Our focus was on (Josh) Claytor more than everybody else. He's a great passer and a really good one-on-one scorer," Fenlon said.

"I thought we executed that part of our game plan really, really well and when you try to take him out of it a little bit, you are going to give up a little bit on the perimeter and (Xavier) Brown is a super-athletic and skilled guy for this level."

"Outside of his shot, our execution of the defensive game plan was good. We kept them off the offensive boards for the most part and we went and got it a little bit for ourselves," Fenlon added.

"We didn't give it away, we beat them on the offensive rebounds and those are some high priority things for us right now."

In the closing minutes, Fenlon said that the focus on possession was especially important.

"We wanted to make sure were going to take care of the basketball. Once you're up, people are going to be a little more aggressive and you can't give it away thinking you're going to get fouled," Fenlon said.

"Sean Haseley knocked in a couple of shots. Coming out of a timeout, he hit a big three when were up two. Alex Payne made play after play with his penetration and his energy level, which was huge for us."

The Tigers will look to climb further up NCAC standings as they travel to Denison Wednesday. Fenlon said that pressing on would depend how the squad reacted to the win.

"The top five or six teams in this league are brutal. Denison beat Ohio Wesleyan, who's been in the top-25 ranking discussion. It's not going to be a night off, especially on the road," Fenlon said.

"The question for our young team is, are we going to hang around and congratulate ourselves for the next three days or are we going to try and get ready to do it again?"

At Lilly Center

Wooster 26 40 -- 66

DePauw 32 43 -- 75

Shooting -- Wooster 26-57 FG, 8-22 3-FG, 6-7 FT; DePauw 27-54 FG, 4-15 3-FG, 17-23 FT

Rebounding -- Wooster 25 (7 offense); DePauw 31 (11 offense)

Assists -- Wooster 9; DePauw 10

Turnovers -- Wooster 11; DePauw 8

Blocks -- Wooster 1; DePauw 4

Steals -- Wooster 6; DePauw 6

Scoring (DePauw only)

Wilkison 18, Haseley 15, Payne 14, Burns 10, Flynn 8, Fernitz 6, Sullivan 4

Next game -- DePauw travels to Denison University Wednesday.